What Makes A Trustworthy Website: What The One-Page Uses To Leverage Credibility
If there was a design to make you come across believable as a business and convincing as a brand that delivers on its promise, and by extension, you’re able to work with the type of clients who not only add respect to your name and pay you what you’re worth, but also encourage other quality clients to do likewise—would you invest in it? This seemingly “magical” design mentioned above is called One-Page Websites™. Being believable and convincing can be the most challenging things to earn from anyone online when they’ve never actually met or spoken with you (the person they supposedly intend to hire), which is why everything about The One-Page™ is so important because it's crucial to your credibility. You might think, “Well, I’m not moving away from the service part of my business,” but there is a lot more to integrity than not being a sell-out. In fact, your clients expect consistency from your brand. So, you’ll have to go a bit further than resisting the urge to market yourself inauthentically, if you’re to convince anyone you’re a business with a focused brand in every sense of the word.
Here are 4 other specific ways to use your website to gain trust:
1. Highlight Credible Clients You’ve Worked With
All the amazing opportunities that found their way into my inbox were as a result of mentioning some of the high-profile brands I’ve designed for. Nothing’s more discounting to your worth as whatever your profession is to an ideal prospect, especially high-profile clients, than having no prior experience they can instantly recognize and have respect for. I’m sure you’ve seen specific logos floating across websites before as ‘companies or firms the brand has worked with’, and perhaps without giving much consideration to what happens to your thoughts once you’ve processed that piece of information, wondered why it’s there. This representation of earned respect is pictographic language that’s used to convert the first impression of your ideal prospect from “never heard of you,” to a possible “I might want to know more.” That’s why reputable brands have it.
I tend to see it like the grammys to service-based brands: just the fact that you have it, makes people respect your work. It doesn’t mean though, the quality of your work after the fact has continuity! Therefore, the next phase of living up to what you’re respected for is continued in your case-studies.
This is a tall order to fill when all you’re thinking about is making money. But all money isn’t necessarily good money if it isn’t reinforcing why people trust you in the first place.
2. Highlight Where Your Concepts Have Been Featured Or Published
I know what it’s like to feel like or believe that despite all your experience, you have nothing to say, or what you have to say is too simple or have been said before. But something sincerely encouraging happens when you reveal your personal experiences and someone reputable agrees with you, applauds for having written it, shares, features or publishes your work. Other people begin to take notice, and those accolades should be shown on your website because it strengthens your authority and contributes to reinforcing the trust you’re trying to gain from your ideal end-users.
Again, another tall order to fill when you’re not paying attention to the topics people are responding to from your brand. I recently restructured my blog to reflect the topics I noticed people were responding to the most, and added where the publications of my work is also featured. But when all you have is The One-Page™, a simple logo or video mentioning where your work has been featured, and if possible, link the website where it’s located, is another way you can encourage trust and strengthen your authority without a personal blog or vlog.
3. Make Sure Your Business Is Registered
A real business is registered. You can’t avoid its importance because the type of clients who add credibility to the work you do request things like your Income Tax Certificate, VAT Clearance Certificate and National Compliance Certificate among other things not only to feel safe but to confirm the authenticity of your business before working with you. To acquire the aforementioned particulars means firstly, to be recognized by the Ministry of Legal Affairs (or whatever governing body your country uses) as a business.
Then, you can consider other things like mentioning any professional organizations you might be linked to, or licenses or academic achievements you have or have earned that are important to your industry and clients respectively.
4. Make Sure Your Price Matches Your Value And You Have A Process
If I told you I was selling you a car for $20,000 dollars, chances are (if you have personal experience vetting the value of vehicles to purchase) you will question the condition of the car, not yet having seen it with a mechanic.
Well, the same concept of trust through the relationship price has with value is applied to your work online in the eyes of someone you’re trying to convince your worth to, who has been around your industry block. Holding back on showing your price or even showing a low price for something that is expected to be within a certain price range, will make people wonder if they’re really getting “duct tape and cardboard” service. Furthermore, having clarity on the steps they’ll take when they’ve seen enough to want to pay you, to do what you do best is super important if you want a client to relax and trust that you know what you’re doing, and sometimes, it can be enough to even base your value on, if those steps together are designed to get results.
...And What If I’m Not There Yet?
If your service is so new that you couldn’t possibly have any of the things mentioned above, use the opportunity to focus on collecting them by looking at what your clients value about your work and also, the type of clients who value your work. As with my experience, this information emerges with time and only then will you be able to double down on that information through a website that encourages specific credibility and by extension create content people respond to.
When I first started my business it didn't take me long to connect the problems I was having with clients during a project with having no set way of working with them. Over time, I was able to build that, by going over all my projects and extracting what made it go smoothly, and today it's something my clients repeatedly compliment me on.
Have patience. Sometimes you can get uneasy just taking the time to understand what the problem is to afford yourself the answers and as a result lose focus. But the advantage of strategically waiting: watching your steps, evaluating each move and using the data to make you stronger is when your break comes (and it will). And when it does, you’ll be ready because you redeemed the time wisely.
In conclusion, I hope the points mentioned helps you approach structuring your website with more depth when considering the credibility of your business online than just how it looks, and that it also gives some tips on what you can do to position yourself to achieve what you need, if you don’t have them yet.
I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB